Creating a healthy environment where a child can learn and succeed is the teacher's highest priority. That is why Chapter 11 emphasizes the great value of developing the fine motor skills of children of different ages using games and activities appropriate for child`s age. The author explains that helping a child develop his fine motor skills will encourage him to start writing properly and, thus, will prevent any frustration or low self-esteem. In order to create this healthy environment a teacher should organize a special manipulative center which is a well-lit quiet area where children have access to various simple activities aiming to develop child`s fine motor skills.
We believe that engaging children into exploring the world around them in the early childhood will encourage them to be more active later; it can also prevent obesity and help them develop necessary communication skills while cooperating with other children. Chapter 12 suggests that the best way for a student to learn is through interacting with the environment. The author provides a number of games and other outdoor activities that will help a child develop his flexibility, stamina, strength and speed.
The information the author provided was useful for me as a learner and practitioner. The concepts described in these two Chapters show that children truly are fearfully and wonderfully made (Bible, Psalms 139:14). They want to explore, to get to know God`s creation and the way they were made. It is now the responsibility of a teacher to involve them into activities that will tell them about creation in a way that will be appropriate for the age group. Such activities can include drawing (start with lines and then proceed to drawing animals or people using shapes, etc.), gardening (or exploring textures with finger tips, etc.), using play doh (rolling shapes of different size and color) and other.
Knowing that children are sinners in great need of the Savior (Bible, Romans 3:23), I as a teacher should be prepared to help them to settle disagreements that will occur while both working at the manipulative center and interacting outdoors. Egocentric motives are very much likely to come out at this stage. Thus, teachers unconditional love and care can be a way to introduce love of Christ to them. Encourage them to solve the conflicts instead of avoiding them as well as compromise. The teacher as a leader should be the role model for children in his/her reactions and attitude.
Manipulative center can be a place where children learn the concept of sharing. It is at this age that they should realize what it means to be a giver, ready to give something very valuable to make his friend happy.
Moreover, I believe that activities that aim to develop large motor skills like the Obstacle course can result in growing competitiveness between children which is a great opportunity for a teacher to tell them what real friendship based on love and support is pointing them at numerous examples in the Bible.
Finally, I found this study useful for me as it made me realize that as a Christian I should respect the way God created and intended children to be. So, it is my responsibility as an educator to help children develop their skills one step at a time based on the knowledge I get from educational sources as well as my Christian foundation.
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